Site review by Polly Nomial September 3, 2012
Performance: Sonics (MC):
|Previously I raved about Haydn: The Creation - Spering (and it still resides on my shelves, probably as my "turn to first" account) but this new account from Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman gives a fair run for its money (and is widely available too).
Like the Spering account, Pearlman presents The Creation in German, observing in the highly entertaining accompanying notes, that one early publisher wrote "it is lamentable to see such divine music joined with such miserable broken English..."! Pearlman also writes about his performance choices (from size of orchestra & chorus to ornamentation and speeds) and at almost every turn is amply justified on the evidence presented.
The orchestral contribution is one of the most refined period instrument presentations I have heard to date; it is almost as if HIP has been placed into reverse and that the Boston players are seeking to emulate the sounds of a modern instrument orchestra instead of the normal HIP state of affairs! Fortunately it is only "almost as if" and the exquisite delicacy of the playing is a joy in itself when accompanied with the buoyant, flowing tempos that Pearlman chooses. The soloists Amanda Forsythe (soprano), Keith Jameson (tenor) & Kevin Dyas (bass-baritone) are all well chosen - their tone is complementary and blends well when Haydn calls for it.
There likely are only two disappointments of note for most listeners:
1) the chorus sometimes sounds rather small-scale (most particularly in the climax to the end of Part I) which robs the majesty of some of Haydn's writing
2) the soloists may be felt to be balanced rather forward compared to the orchestra & chorus, meaning much great accompanying writing is (partially) hidden by their marvellous contributions.
In both cases, I urge listeners to audition to determine if these are significant or not.
The balance issue aside, the remainder of the sonic aspects are superb - just a smidgen of acoustic properties are heard giving a tender halo to the playing and singing but no harmful reverberation is to be heard anywhere.
Recommended with minor reservations.
Copyright © 2012 John Broggio and SA-CD.net